Time is running out to seek FEMA disaster relief for Michigan flooding


Federal authorities have opened emergency centers in southeast Michigan to help people who only have until September 13 to apply for financial assistance for flood damage in late June.

Four locations – in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Detroit and Garden City – will remain open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, to help residents of Washtenaw and Wayne counties file claims for disaster assistance. Homeowners, tenants and businesses have until September 13 to claim damages caused by severe storms and floods from June 25 to 26. They can also file complaints online at assistancecatastrophe.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.

Each location is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Sunday. Disaster recovery centers are open in the following locations:

President Joe Biden approved a federal declaration of disaster after Southeast Michigan was hit by 5-8 inches of rain, flooding highways, basements and businesses with water and sewers. On Monday, $ 16.4 million in funds were approved. A FEMA representative did not respond to questions about the number of claims filed so far.

FEMA coordinator Scott Burgess urged residents of southeast Michigan to contact federal officials at a virtual town hall last week.

“I know many residents of Southeast Michigan were severely affected by the flooding in late June and I am committed to ensuring that we are here with all of our community partners for as long as it takes,” working hard to ensure accessibility to the many possible federal recovery resources that may be made available to all survivors who need them, ”said Burgess.

Federal funds can be used to repair damaged homes or to cover the cost of temporary housing and other expenses related to uninsured disasters. See more information on eligibility and what is covered here.

The US Small Business Administration also offers emergency loans of up to $ 2 million to help pay for damages not covered by insurance. Homeowners can also borrow up to $ 200,000 for home repairs not covered by insurance. Homeowners and tenants can borrow $ 40,000 to repair or replace personal property.

Payment for SBA loans is deferred for 18 months. Call 1-800-659-2955 to speak with the SBA.

Related: As floods continue to hit Detroit, city’s most vulnerable residents face crisis

Disaster Relief Centers are meant to help people get more information about assistance programs and learn how to make their homes more resilient to disasters. Representatives from FEMA, SBA, Michigan State Police, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and other state agencies will be in attendance.

Residents of Wayne and Washtenaw counties who are unemployed because of the June floods can get unemployment benefits through a new temporary program.

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program is available after President Joe Biden declared the June 25-26 floods a “major disaster.” Claims must be submitted to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency by August 23.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is also helping low-income residents who need home repairs due to flooding. To apply, visit michigan.gov/MIBridges. Anyone who does not have internet access or needs help applying can contact their local MDHHS office or call 2-1-1 to be referred to other community resources.

If you report that your home is not livable, hygienic, and safe when you register, FEMA may need to perform an inspection of the damaged property. FEMA inspectors will contact you to meet with you at the address where the damage was reported. The inspector’s phone number may be from out of state or appear on your caller ID as unavailable, so be sure to answer the phone. If the call is directed to voicemail, the inspector will leave a callback number, or you may receive a text message if no further contact can be made.

Due to COVID-19, inspections are done outside your home, with the inspector following current CDC guidelines. The inspector will not enter the house and go validate what happened by asking yourself about the damage. Inspectors will also request a video verification of disaster damage using a mobile device to walk through and view the house, where possible.

You will need to show the inspector your photo ID. You will be not be asked to provide your social security number or bank details. There is no cost for a FEMA inspection.

After your home is inspected, a disaster damage record is turned over to FEMA. From this record, your eligibility for disaster assistance will be determined. If you are eligible for a grant, funds will be released 7-10 days after your application. A letter will also be sent to you explaining the assistance for which you are eligible.

All FEMA inspectors can be identified by their official federal photo ID badge. If you have any doubts when you receive a call or an inspection visit from someone declaring that they are FEMA personnel, do not give any information but call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800 -462-7585) between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. pm ET to verify that the call or visit is legitimate.

If you suspect someone is committing fraud, call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or your local police department.

Homes and roads in southeast Michigan have been flooded at least twice more since the flood in late June. Detroit has received 10 inches of rain since June 1, according to the National Weather Service, just over 4 inches more than average.

Local activists and officials increasingly recognize chronic flooding as an environmental justice issue that affects vulnerable communities.

” It is not a coincidence ; it is a direct result of climate change and its impact on us all every day, and an issue of environmental justice for many communities in Detroit who have been directly affected by it, ”said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II in as a recent city hall on the subject.

“That’s why we need to act now. So we’ll start by taking care of our people, and we’ll end up investing in our infrastructure.

Note: This story originally showed an incorrect date for the deadline to file a FEMA claim. It has since been updated.


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